What's the problem? How can I help?
At The Walkabout Way, I teach people to become dog trainers after spending the past 30 years doing that job myself. Over the years I have changed how I teach people to look after their dogs and now I share this with others who want to learn how best to help. It really isn’t just about the dogs.
As a dog trainer, I have helped well over 10,000 dogs and to begin with, I took the dog and taught it how to behave. I ran a dog walking business and wanted the dogs to behave so I could let them off and have fun. I then set up meetings with the dog’s owners to show them how to continue the teaching when they took them out. I very quickly realised that although the dog would behave for me, as soon as I left the dog alone with their owner, the dog would revert making my job a lot harder when I took the dog out again. I would have to start all over and so decided to teach the owners as well. My dog training club was restarted and quickly filled by my dog walking clients. A win for everyone as the dog had consistency and the freedom that gives them, and my business grew.
From the basis of general dog training, I quickly became known as the problem sorter and so using my behavioural knowledge of living with so many dogs. The dogs who I walked also lived with me when their mums and dads were on holiday, and I had several of my own, and so I set about designing a way to help the problem dogs. Realising that so often the problem was often to do with the atmosphere that the dog lived in, or the lack of knowledge of how to change things, I set about looking at the bigger issue.
Working holistically, helps so many people. The dog’s life improved and so their behaviour changes making life easier for the owner. So many of us take on a rescue dog and in the end the dog rescues us. Having to look at things differently, with the support of someone telling you what to do, is quite often the game changer. I have a range of different ways to help people, but it is usually my own dog who helps me decide what to do.
When I am assessing the new dog and their owner, I let Skye, meet them and where she stands tells me who needs the most help. If she stands next to the owner, she can tell me there is a problem and how she behaves will allow me to ask the questions to dig a bit deeper. If an owner is going through a crisis for whatever reason, then we together find ways to help. Simply put, Skye can even tell me if the owner is on medication or not! Skye learnt all this from her predecessors, Ben and Zytta who were even better at it. What it told me was that the dog was often not the only problem and whilst not qualified to help with medical or mental health issues, a friendly ear and a safe place to be, was often enough to help and then the dog relaxed and began to behave.
These are some of the people who I have helped:
A lady who had recently rescued a lab x who had lost her husband to cancer, her daughter had just been diagnosed with cancer and her daughter in law had a brain tumour!! Her only problem was her dog wouldn’t come back – because she was all over the place emotionally – we worked on some simple things to do and she attended regularly, making friends with other clients and 7 years later, is travelling all over the country and living her life again. 😊
A gentleman who rescued GSD’s has brought each of his three of them to us for help and guidance. Each time we have managed to help and support him as he struggled with the rescue settling in. Having a partner who travelled the world with her job, meant he was often alone to cope and he has found the companionship of our training group invaluable.
A lady who came with her big GSD who her partner had no trouble with, learnt how to manage him and he gave her many years of happy adventures within the group. She then bought the next two dogs to join us and shared her knowledge with others, giving them confidence to keep going.
Only last week, I had a lady whose husband is a serving airman and often away, attend with her young bitch and realise that she is not alone with challenges of having a husband and father away from home and trying to hold the home together. Within 10 minutes the dog had stopped barking and the lady was back on top of her game.
Another lady brought two out of control dogs to see us and over the years, found ways to help many other rescue dogs by getting her own life in order. Suddenly, her house was being cleaned up and she was taking more care of herself.
Another lady gained so much confidence that she set herself as a very successful dog groomer and another became a very good dog trainer who when I first met her, wouldn’t leave her bedroom! She ended up working with me and travelling over Europe with me helping our clients.
In fact, that is why I have set up The Walkabout Dog Training Academy, as so many people asked to learn my methods. I have decided not to take the younger clients on but concentrate on the people who are older and have life experiences as when using my methods, it helps if you have experienced some of the problems yourself. There are currently 8 people on the course working with me and shadowing my training sessions. I encourage them to talk and help my clients as it is all about supporting owners, never saying sorry, shoulders back and look up – now enjoy your dog walk.
I love helping people, but I love teaching others to do it too. If you would like to join us and find out how you can start a new journey, then why not get in touch today. Contact me here.